Letter from an Adult Child of Cluster B Personality Disorder Parents: The Damage Done
I received the following letter from a woman who has been following the Shrink4Men blog for sometime now. She sent the note below to share with those of you who are struggling with the choice to stay in your relationship with your abusive, Cluster B (Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder) wife or girlfriend because of your shared children.
This letter confirms what I have long suspected. Under no circumstances is it healthy to subject a child to an abusive parent. Even if you remain in the home to protect your child(ren), they will still be adversely affected by the abuse they witness perpetrated against you. Furthermore, even if your child isn’t being directly attacked, it is a form of abuse to witness their father being abused.
Dear Dr T,
I read your website often. Many men say they stay with their BPD wives for balance for their children or don’t know if they should stay. I would like to write and tell them this. I am a woman who had a father with BPD and the rest of the Cluster B disorders. He had a milder PD of Paranoid Personality Disorder and, in later life, developed some Schizotypal traits.
I am very certain that I am not alone. I made it out with minor problems. According to some psychologists, all children of BPD’s have some aspect of their disorder. I am a healthy adult, however, that does not mean that I had a totally normal childhood and in no way did I need or want my father’s psychodrama. It was terrifying at times. I myself can’t figure out why children of any Cluster A or B and some C’s have a problem resolving their feelings. The answer is not that difficult to resolve. You have got to decide that you do not deserve or ever asked for their behavior. All their good qualities are transient. Period. They will alternate with abuse again. Many, and I mean many, years could pass and then some type of abuse will pop up.
Narcissism is the root of all PD’s. Therefore most people with BPD have NPD as well. They really aren’t like kissing cousins. BPD is just another variation of Narcissism.
If they do apologize, it is important to remember that BPD’s have psychopathy as well. They don’t learn very easily and mean what they’re saying only in that moment. They will quickly twist or decide that you were wrong and blame you when it wasn’t your fault or when you have done something wrong just to abuse you again the same way. They will not look at themselves and have to do this in order to deflect their own self-hate or pain. The BPD activists talk about this aspect of these individuals as if they were discussing a minor matter and expect the victim to just bear with their so-called recovery. This is frightening because their attacks are usually from left field and can open old wounds. You have to leave the relationship in order to totally heal.
I do not love my deceased father. I am grateful that he taught me right from wrong as some psychopaths do. I am grateful for the good times because I would be splitting if I did not admit the above and it would be wrong. However, what he did to us is unacceptable and just because he was my father does not mean I owe him or have to love him. He chose that behavior and earned the consequence of it.
It is a cultural myth that we owe love to our parents or abusive people. It is actually quite naive to believe that love is a cure-all because BPDs/NPDs had a bad childhood. If we learn to accept abuse from others and give ourselves less than we deserve, then we get into abusive or lousy relationships. I truly love myself and will not accept an ounce of shit from anybody and have zero tolerance for narcissistic behaviors. I don’t deserve it and never did. I had to teach myself to stand up for myself and stand my own ground because my parents never did. I never took the victim approach because I wouldn’t let myself be pathetic and become like them. Therefore, to have any sympathy or empathy for a BPD’s crap is simply crazy. It is pathological. I had to extensively, and I mean extensively, study manipulation both covert and overt as well as PD’s to protect myself so that I could spot and avoid them.
Love does not cure BPD. Pills do not cure BPD. Only the BPD can do it. That will happen when pigs fly. I have studied and followed many BPD’s for years who were treated with all different kinds of therapies. They may lose some aspect of their problem, but there is always a serious part of it that remains and requires still more treatment. I know many that are told they have biochemical illnesses and take pills. They help some, but not a lot. It is just another way for some psychologist or psychiatrist to buy into their own biochemical delusion and for the BPD to avoid responsibility for themselves and blame it on their biochemistry. Some are made worse by meds.
Get your kids out ASAP. Ask Dr. T for a personalized plan in conjunction with legal help. She is a trustworthy psychologist. Trust me when I say that I don’t like many psychologists or psychiatrists because they are largely incompetent, crazy or have serious problems themselves and practice pop or junk science. Heed her warnings. She is 100 percent right when it comes to these woman. Your children do not deserve what I was put through.
My siblings had serious problems brought out. My sister developed BPD and developed Schizophrenia from the constant stress and chaos. My brother’s Schizophrenia surfaced partly because of the psychological assaults, as did my sister’s. I did not develop Schizophrenia and am now 51. I was just damn lucky. This is how serious BPD Cluster B behavior is. Do not twist my example around and say, “Veronica turned out okay, so my kids will.”
You do not know what these crazy people will do or the level of psychopathy they have over a span of time or what new PD they will develop. I have seen that happen many times and most shrinks don’t even mention that. Most shrinks don’t know BPD that well because they don’t work with them, yet they talk about them like they do. You don’t know what new vice they will pick up or who they will have sex with. In no way do I condone your choice to stay with any PD, yet alone a BPD Cluster B who usually has Paranoid PD as well. It is a very serious form of child abuse and abuse to yourself.
Dr. T is right when she said they go after gifted people who are good. They want to take everything that is good in you and your children. They try to take the good from you because they aren’t capable of it and don’t have it within themselves. They try to destroy what’s good in others in an effort to destroy their own projected self-hate.
The only retaliation is to live well when you meet these people and when they hurt you. Just hope they get what they deserve and go on living well. Don’t stoop to their level or become like them. They hate it because they can’t do that and that is a huge part of their problem with inferiority. They are inferior because they do horrible things and deserve to feel that way. In the end, they set themselves up with their own pathology anyway and get what they deserve. They will do it to themselves and don’t need an enemy because they are their own worst enemy. That I can guarantee you.
Every time you let one get to you somehow you give them your power. That is what they really want—to have you feel and be as bad as them, feel as shitty or as antisocial as they do. If you allow this to happen, then they don’t feel so bad about themselves. They thrive that way. You enable them to continue when you allow them to affect you in anyway or give them anything. Strictly adhere to this until you totally exceed. It may be difficult for some, but it can be done. The reward is that you will have your own mental health back and they will mean nothing to you. Be careful out there, these disorders are running rampant.
This story may not apply to all individuals with abusive, Cluster B parents, but the children of these individuals are impacted by them no matter how much of a buffer you provide.
Shrink4Men Coaching and Consultation Services:
Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.
If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.